7 best cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina you should visit

When I told people I was going to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I got one of two reactions.

Either they’d look worried and say something like: “But is it safe?” Or they would look at me surprised as if I’d just said the weirdest thing ever, and ask: “But why? What’s in Bosnia?”

If you’re thinking the same, let me introduce you to a country that pretty much blew my socks off and exceeded my expectations BIG time.

In this post, I will list out the best cities in Bosnia for those who might be planning their own trip to Bosnia. And for the rest of you, may these pictures prove to you how Bosnia is sparkling with magic.

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Why you should visit Bosnia

Nearby countries of Croatia and Montenegro have become tourist hotspots, but Bosnia and Herzegovina remains somewhat of a hidden gem.

Although it’s not completely uncrowded, Bosnia is still largely off the beaten path. Last year, 1.3 million tourists visited Bosnia and Herzegovina compared to Croatia, which got 18.5 million visitors.

Numbers are blooming, so people are starting to realize that present-day Bosnia is a complete departure from the war-torn image they might previously have held in their minds.

I can tell you so many reasons why Bosnia is worth visiting.

For starters, it’s packed with natural wonders like unspoiled natural parks, emerald-toned rivers, and cascading waterfalls. People are so friendly and welcoming. The food is delicious (mmmhm, cevapi). It’s extremely affordable, and the scenery is just wow!

And you know what?

Since I got home, I haven’t been able to stop telling people how great Bosnia is.

It might sound like a clicheé, but the country is so underrated. Like really. Most people visiting Bosnia only make it to Mostar on a day trip, but there’s SO much more to see.

Mostar

7 cities in Bosnia

The most interesting cities include Sarajevo, Mostar and the famous Stari Most bridge, the Blagaj Tekke monastery, Kravice waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. All of which I’ll share with you here.

First, let’s take a look at Sarajevo.

1. Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital

If I were to sum up Sarajevo in one word, it would be: underrated.

Because this city does not get the hype it deserves. It has so much going on; it’s full of beautiful sights, the food is amazing, it’s authentic and super cheap.

Sarajevo is more than just the capital of Bosnia. To think of what happened there during the siege just 20 years ago, and to see how it’s thriving today – touched me deeply. This unpretentious city , with apparent marks of the 1990s conflict,  knew how to stand up after all the suffering endured.

I live in a country that was occupied during World War II. Both my granddads were freedom fighters, and most living Danes their age still talk about those dark times today. And that’s 73 years ago. For the people of Bosnia, their war basically just ended.

Sarajevo
Sarajevo

2. Mostar

While Sarajevo is underrated and authentic, Mostar is all kinds of pretty.

It is beautiful beyond beautiful.

Mostar is in the south of Bosnia; the sunny and lush Herzegovina region. It’s known for its Stari Most bridge, but I dare say there are plenty more reasons to go than the bridge.

If you like quaint fairy tale towns and azure blue water, this is for you.

Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia
Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia
Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia

3. Blagaj Tekke

Next stop: Blagaj.

20 minutes drive or so from Mostar, you’ll find this delightful little place called Blagaj Tekke. It’s a Dervish monastery, nearly 600 years old, and it’s built under a cliff. How about that?

Absolutely gorgeous and a must-visit if you ask me.

You can visit the tekke and also take a brief boat ride into the cave which is the source of the Buna river. It costs a few marks.

Read next: The Ultimate Balkan Travel Guide

Mostar, Bosnia
Cities in Bosnia
Cities in Bosnia

4. Kravice Waterfalls

If I could only go back to one of the cities in Bosnia, it would be Kravice Waterfalls, hands-down. 

As much as I love the mountainous wonder that is everywhere in Bosnia, it is the mountainous wonder + cascading clear waterfalls that really put stars in my eyes.

Also, swimming in these blueish-green waterfalls … doesn’t hurt, either.

And YES, you can actually swim here! While swimming is usually strictly verboten, like in the nearby Plitvice Lakes, it is very much allowed in Kravice.

Mostar
Cities in Bosnia
Mostar, Bosniatar, Bosnia-24

5. Konjic – the Old Bridge

Located right between Sarajevo and Mostar, you’ll find Konjic.

It’s this pretty little town with an old bridge from 1682, which is regarded as the point where Herzegovina meets Bosnia. So, right in the middle.

I’d say definitely stop here, if only for 30 minutes if you’re passing by.

Mostar

6. Pocitelj – Middle Age village

Another of the best cities in Bosnia is Počitelj, a medieval walled village perched on a mountainside.

What makes it unique is the picturesque mix of Ottoman and medieval architecture.

While it’s easy to miss or just drive by, I say you should make the effort. And UNESCO seems to agree because they’ve placed Počitelj on their tentative list.

It’s a swift 30-minute drive from Mostar, and the roads are in very good condition.

Mostar, Bosnia

7. Jajce

The last of the best cities in Bosnia is Jajce (and if you have time, squeeze in a visit to nearby Travnik). 

One of Jajce’s most favorable features is the Pliva waterfall, which is situated right in the center of town.

And if the waterfall isn’t amazing enough for you, the lakes (and the cevapi) are incredible. So many reasons to go there. So go!

Jajce, Bosnia
Photo by Kennypce

FAQ – Bosnia cities

What is the best city to stay in Bosnia?

If you’re into history and culture, Sarajevo is one of the best Bosnian cities. For amazing views and a chill vibe, hit up Mostar.

Want something more laid-back? Check out Banja Luka or Trebinje. Each city’s got its own thing, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.

What is the largest city in Bosnia?

The largest city in Bosnia is Sarajevo. It’s the capital and has a population of around 275,000 to 300,000 in the city proper, with more in the larger metropolitan area. It’s the main cultural, economic, and political hub of the country.

How many cities are in Bosnia?

There are around 20 big towns in Bosnia, including Sarajevo, Mostar, and Banja Luka. But, of course, there are lots of smaller towns too.

Is Sarajevo a big city?

Yes, Sarajevo is considered a big city in Bosnia. It’s capital and has a lot going on, but compared to megacities around the world, it’s more on the medium side.

It’s got a good mix of urban life and history without being overwhelming.

Get more tips about Bosnia

Save it!

Find inspiration for your trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina here. In this post, I list out my favourite places for those who might be planning their own trip to Bosnia. And for the rest of you, may these pictures prove to you how Bosnia is sparkling with magic.

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29 Comments

    1. I am currently in Bosnia for the second time in a year. This country is so beautiful with lovely landscapes, welcoming people, great food, lots of history, and an amazing discovery of a pyramid complex in Visoko. I volunteered last year to help the Pyramid of the Sun foundation explore the Ravne tunnels and the outer structure of the Pyramid of the Sun. Amazing experience!

  1. If we’re going tho Bosnië you ask. Last year we did a road trip in Slovenië, Kroatië and Bosnië. We’ve stayed in
    Banja Luka. We would like to go again, and visit Sarajevo. It was to far away to visit last year.
    Bosnië is a beautiful country. It’s a country with a history. We love all of the countries of ex Yugoslavia

    1. Same as I! The Balkans are so beautiful. We just did a road trip further south, in Albania and Macedonia – I highly recommend that as well in case you’re thinking of exploring more of the region.

      All the best.

  2. Beautiful posts about Bosnia and Herzegovina!
    Next time try to visit National park UNA near Bihac especially Strbacki buk and Rama lake near Prozor city…It’s really amazing.

  3. What a lovely blog post you have written…very informative and interesting. Loved the images which you shared in the blog post.

  4. Hey Miriam,
    Congratulations on one of the best travel journals and photos too.
    Yes- Bosnia is beautiful. If you were to visit it the second time, I’d also recommend a day tour to Visegrad where you can see the Bridge on Drina. I was a bit disappointed that you went past Belgrade. I’d say that’s the most underrated European capital. I would love to keep talking to you about your travels. All the best. xx

    1. Thanks, Mirjana 🙂 I will definitely visit Bosnia again and would love to see Visegrad.

      I’ve got Belgrade in my travel plans for 2020, so stay turned 🙂

  5. Bonjour, je souhaiterais visiter la bosnie Herzégovine fin juillet 2020 pendant 10j avec mon mari et ma fille de 2 ans. Nous aimerions louer une maison/appartement dans un lieux à partir duquel nous pouvons visiter assez facilement les points dinteret de ce pays que vous avez sité. Auriez vous une ville à nous conseillé pour loger ?

  6. I am disappointed that you highlighted places that were ethnically cleansed of their Serbian populations. Cities like Sarajevo and Mostar may seem beautiful to a tourist like yourself, but did you ask yourself what happened to all of the Serbian families that used to live there and who can never go back? Mostar’s prewar population was one third Serbian until the Croats and Muslims banded together and murdered any remaining Serbs who would not leave. Now even they can not live together, as they have divided the city into a Croatian section and a Muslim section. As for Sarajevo, only a small part of the city has remained Serbian, as most of the city is now controlled by Muslims and Serbs face discrimination if they try to go back to their old neighbourhoods. The beauty you see everywhere is hiding alot of ugliness and your blog makes no mention of that.

    1. Hi, I’m really disappointed by the hate that you are trying to spread. This is a beautiful post and your comment isn’t really needed. I suggest you look better into what you think happened there. I hate that. Your lack of knowledge is terrifying. It’s always easier to portray the REAL victims as the bad guys. What about the muslims that were FORCED to leave their HOMES since it’s now occupied by serbs ???? I really hope that you’ll open your eyes and stop spreading misinformation.

      Thank you so muche for your beautiful post ! I love my country so much ! Hope you’ll go back 🙂

    2. Hi Able, this isn’t a political blog. I write about the places I visit and the people I meet along the way – not who’s right or wrong or who should be blamed.

      I wanted to show the beautiful side of Bosnia. The Bosnians I met were so incredibly nice and welcoming, in fact they’re some of the friendliest people I’ve met on my travels. Bosnia has so much to offer in terms of history, culture, nature and food, and lots of people don’t seem to know that. So, that’s what my posts on Bosnia are about: Beauty, positivity, strength and good people. Not ethnic cleansing, genocide and war, which many people associate Bosnia with. Bosnia is more than that.

      1. Bosnia does not ONLY belong to the Muslims. It is also belongs to the Serbs. You are creating a ”political” post by ethnically cleansing Serbs from this article, by ignoring the fact that Serbs can’t safely visit Mostar Sarajevo, Jajce, which were their cities up until twenty years ago. Half of Sarajevo’s prewar population was Serbian. So own up to your bias and shameful attitude.

        Also, why did you not mention Banja Luka and Trebinje, two beautiful cities that now have a majority Serb population?

  7. We were hoping to go here this year, so it’s now our next year’s holiday (hopefully). Inspiring posts and lovely to see the beauty of the area after so long hearing about it only in association with the war. Thanks!

  8. Lovely blog, thanks for the information and the pictures. It is true Bosnia is not very much known to the tourists, which isn’t always a bad thing. Thank you

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